13 April 2017
Regular vehicle checks you need to be carrying out
Reducing the size of your workforce and changing suppliers may seem like the best ways to cut your business’s running costs, but these methods are rarely sustainable. The key, if you’re looking to streamline your spending, is to work on the little day-to-day things that add up over time.
On the road to big savings
Your fleet of vehicles really should be the first place you look. How well do you manage them? Are they in good shape, or is this not something you’d usually consider? By maintaining your vehicles properly – whether they’re HGVs, vans or cars – you stand to make significant savings in the long run.
As well as the financial benefits of better fuel efficiency and fewer trips to the garage, consistent vehicle maintenance will help to keep your drivers and products safe on the road; it really is a no-brainer.
With that in mind, we’ve listed five of the most important things to check. Not only are these kinds of checks mandatory for many companies – meaning they must be carried out if you’re to avoid hefty fines and sanctions – they should help you save on running costs.
Tyre pressure – It may not seem like a huge deal, but automotive manufacturers recommend tyre pressures for a reason; and they’re especially important in larger vehicles like HGVs. Incorrect inflation can cause damage to the vehicle and tyres themselves, while reducing fuel efficiency. It may take time to monitor tyres across a big fleet of large vehicles, but the consequences of not doing so definitely make it worthwhile.
Tread depth – A vehicle’s tyres are its only point of contact with the road below, so it’s crucial they’re in good shape. A balding tyre – one whose surface has started to flatten with wear – will affect the vehicle’s handling and could cause an accident, putting your driver and cargo at risk. A new tyre may not cost much but consider the safety of your staff and the value of your products.
Lifting equipment – Nothing should get in the way of your driver’s ability to do his or her job, and that includes faulty lifting equipment. If the mechanisms on your vehicles start to fail, they will slow your staff down, affecting productivity. Customers may also start to become irritated as a result, affecting sentiment. Test your equipment regularly to ensure it’s always in full working order when it’s needed most.
Coupling – The links between your vehicles’ cabs and trailers must be tough enough to stand up to a lot of rigorous movement, as well as the weather. While most are built with this in mind, don’t assume yours are as they should be. Check them regularly, and encourage your drivers to raise any concerns they have while driving. The results of a failing trailer coupling can be disastrous, financially and otherwise.
Security – Your vehicles may cover many thousands of miles, but they’re not always on the move. When they’re parked up - whether for a delivery or downtime - you need to be confident that the cargo within is safe from harm and theft. You’ll no doubt have invested in robust security already, so take the time to regularly check that it works properly – keep locks and mechanisms oiled, and once again, ask drivers to raise concerns.
A helping hand
It can be difficult enough to maintain a personal vehicle, so staying on top of a fleet of large vehicles will no doubt be a daunting prospect. Fear not, though, there is help out there: innovative new technologies are helping businesses and their drivers keep track of the most important regular checks, including those listed above.
TouchStar’s Vehicle Inspection software is a prime example of the fantastic solutions available. It’s designed to replace the risk-ridden paper records that so many companies still rely on. Working hand in hand with our market-leading EPOD system, it allows drivers to capture and submit inspection information using their handheld mobile devices – removing the issues of ineligible handwriting and lost forms.
If you could benefit from TouchStar’s vehicle inspection software, get in touch with the experts today.